Phillip Pham Interview 

Okay, well my name is Phillip Pham and I’m a 19 year old American living in the small town of Wyomissing, PA.

What inspires you everyday

Hmm, that’s a hard one. I’m pretty sure I’m depressed (I only guess bc no ones ever gave me an official diagnosis but they hinted on it) and therefore; it’s hard to get up sometimes and find purpose in everyday. Part of why I don’t kill myself is because I’m too afraid to die. I don’t wanna live but I also don’t wanna die. So I guess I’m caught in this weird limbo of emotion.

But sometimes, when things are alright in my life, there’s this shimmer of hope that puts me at ease and makes me look forward to the days ahead.

Maybe the weather is just right and my hair is parted oh so perfectly to match my organized outfit and I smile because I feel good and I know things will get better

I know that there’s love and peace somewhere in this horrible world and I just have to be persistent

What is something you would change about people in the world

I’d make everyone more empathetic and curious

What is your view on the people in the world

I think people, especially at this point of time, are split between being scared and angry while the other half is loving and curious

With increasing environmental meltdown, terrorism, and political turmoil, everyone’s definitely shaken and suspicious of each other. Who’s the bad guy? Who can we blame? How do we solve a complex and abstract issue?

But with these issues, comes love and unity.

These changing times are encouraging people to more than ever come together and explore each other’s identities and beliefs. It’s scary but that’s why we’re here…to help each other. Ask questions. Get answers.

What is something you’ve struggled with in life

Growing up with Vietnamese parents, they’re very blunt and demanding.

I’ve always been made fun of for my weight and my sensitivity

And plus my dad was an alcoholic and my mom justified it bc I was always “too dramatic” or I “deserved it” when he’d beat me.

And like my life is very average.

He’d beat me but it wasn’t like super aggressive so I’d never recognized it as abuse like I actually deserved it

And I didn’t have many if any friends at all for all of my years thru 10 years old until I graduated high school (I’m still pretty lonely)

And throughout those years I developed depression and I didn’t necessarily struggle with coming out but I did struggle to be accepted in a predominantly white straight “traditional” community

And I was confused as to why shitty things happened to me when I thought I was normal. I wore “normal” clothes and did “normal” things and was an excellent student.

You know, it’s not like I wore all black and looked like I had problems.
Last question what is a goal you would like to achieve in the world

I want to live my life meaningfully instead of surviving

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